Monday, February 19, 2007

Carbon Legacy - It's alive I tell you... alive!

Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Someone in there likes me (well, didn't see a problem with my petition):

Your petition has been approved by the Number 10 web team, and
is now available on the Number 10 website at the following

Your petition reads:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to enable the
creation of a ‘Carbon Legacy’, as a direct, future
generation-benefiting substitute for Inheritance Tax

IHT debate boils down into 2 main areas. Individuals get
frustrated perceiving a major % of savings go not to securing
descendant’s futures, but to fund much that is... wasteful. To
Govt IHT is an historical plum too good to be denied, justified
by wealth being redistributed ‘for the common good’. Climate
change is accepted by a majority as the most serious issue we
face. Carbon Legacy is a fruitful compromise between entrenched
positions, which remain deadlocked. A no middleman bequest,
down to the IHT limit, donated to any initiative that is proven
to be tangibly DOING something to improve matters on a
measurable e-ROI, free from all but the most crucial
instruments of management/oversight. No ‘redirection’! Funds
straight to where most needed, to do the most good for the
future. Some devils in the detail, but doable with consensus.
In so doing it must surely satisfy both the needs and
aspirations of all sides.

Thanks for submitting your petition.

Now, if a lot of you would so good as to sign it, I, my kids and the rest (ok, most. Well, a lot , I'm sure) of the country's future generations will thank you.

Guardian - Let's get back on tax

If you can't take it with you, you don't want it to be squandered and you do want it to make the world a better place and of direct benefit for your ancestors, may I suggest:

BBC - More homes 'face inheritance tax'

Mugging the over-75s

You can't take it with you. But they don't get it. Future generations benefit.

Have I missed anything?

Telegraph - Trifling with protest

In the spirit of wanting it all ways, I have to concede that you should be able to have any petition you want, lest there be accusations of moderation (which is cute on a moderated blog).

However, in the great info overload scheme of things, part of me rather likes a bit of wood trimming to see the odd, worthy, tree

Divide and rule the airwaves!

Is motoring the new smoking?

'Oh, bless. Let's hope this hugely complex issue does not get reduced to a % yes/no figure that would be great for media ratings and little else.

Because it's not as simple as, say, 'Should the BBC stop sending celeb reporters around the world to do a 30' vox pop to make a point on climate warming?'.

Frankly it may make more sense to change 'motoring' to 'travelling', but then the problem with that is most of the new 'elites' in and around London don't do as much of the former as the latter, so maybe it's best to focus on what can be controlled more reason.. comfort... er, with the least impact close to one's personal lifestyle.

There are similarities between both smoking and trav... motoring, of course. They seem to be addictive. Have massive lobbies in support. Neither can claim to not impose on others who may be unwilling.... etc.

Gets a bit stickier on what's actually necessary, at least in the absence of any decent alternatives. You don't really HAVE to smoke, but I'd like to introduce a few Islington-Westminster-Fleet St luvvies to some folk who don't spend their lives wedged on the M6 because they just love the smell of exhaust in the morning. Some don't have Tuscan villas to escape to at the drop of a peerage, index-linked pensions or a rather nice lifestyle hitching a ride to study climate change in the few snowy bits left (on account of all the guys going there to report/experience/blog on it to those who can't... or don't think it's very fair to do so, even if they can afford it).

Oh, yes, and both are, for now, still completely legal to buy and 'do'. Their manufacture and use is permitted and facilitated, if not positively encouraged, perhaps because of certain revenue streams that are accrued along the way. Careful of those second homes oh chattering classes; they may be OK now, but they are also only a retroactive tax change away.

Maybe I can borrow the notion from one of our many highly-paid public servants today, only rather than giving drug addicts NHS fixes to stop them being naughty, maybe I can claim a car and fuel for the less onerous crime of needing to get where I need to to earn money to survive, because there is no alternative here.

Fix & reward first; fine & regale second.

And you can stick that where the sun don't make my solar panel generate.

Have a tremendous day. By some measures we don't have a lot left while we sweat the petty stuff at the expense of the bigger picture.

Classic divide and rule the airwaves. Let the bickering begin... er... continue!'

At least they are recycling more!

BBC failing on green issues

Meet a target.... Really save the planet. Tough call.

'If I may suggest, sending guys based here to places over there where the corporation ad says they have local correspondents, to stand in front of the camera for 30 seconds, may help a tad.

Also not flying in helicopters overhead at the drop of a turkey, especially for spots on 'helping the environment'.

As they say at dawn on Newswatch, though not to me very often (they don't often like to publish my critiques for somem reason on this daft mea gulp attempt at 'balance'), maybe we should look at this... and then forget it quickly as we could really care less.

Nostalgia ain't all it used to be

Never mind the soundtracks

I remember a time when copywriters wrote jingles specifically for a product, and then had a ball (well, I did) pretending they were Bernie Taupin working with great composers and/or musicians to make memorable musical complements to ads. Some even became pop songs!

Now we have committees coordinated by a placement director using a matrix to assess which collection of words will synergise best with the imagery of trendset 'now' to establish a product proposition best suited to the song on offer.

I don't blame the artists. They have livings to make. But the whole sordid bunch feeding off their talent in the name of creativity... well, maybe I do have a teensie problem with that.

But then, nostalgia ain't all it used to be.

Nice to see the future of art and media is no longer to be trusted to mature hands.

If I don't, you shouldn't either

Driving towards disaster

What is your point, please?

I think it may lie in the 'I don't [need to] drive' sentence, which is often followed by 'because I am able to still enjoy a comfortable and secure life whilst not doing so'. At least you did not issue this from the Islington-Westminster-Fleet Street triangle.

If this piece is targeted at the millions in their cars, emitting away, stuck in a jam WHO REALLY DON"T DO IT FOR FUN AND WOULD RATHER NOT, then this is a bit of a waste of space, as all it does is highlight the relative privilege of the chattering classes who enjoy an income (sadly, this effort is a freebie) unreliant on timely, affordable travel. Along with cycling MPs, journalists blogging on their snowy adventures and celebs doing without for a week, it really doesn't seem to equate with the calls on most folks' time, careers and domestic budgets.

And if you are having a swipe at Jeremy Clarkson, most of us may watch him, but don't live like him. And thanks to that, I doubt he cares very much what you think either.

I say this as a committed environmentalist at his home-working desk (for all that can be proved or believed here), but one who feels there are too many now making a living out of telling a lot more us how to exist, from cosy pedestals. And all it's doing is creating divisions.

Sort the alternatives first, before fines and fiddling, or many of us will simply starve. And if that happens we'll have to worry more about this generation than any future ones.

Guardian CiF - Don't be scared to confront people like me over car use - Blah, blah. Even I have lost interest. Much less take the time to read it or reply.

Or, you could watch folk discuss Britney's problems

Five Ways To Save The World

Some scientists and engineers are proposing radical, large-scale ideas that could save us from disaster.

Tough call.

Charity begins in the media, it seems

Sadly, trust & pateince is in short supply. In government. In media. In charities themselves.

Righteous opposition

Just this morning I have been move to write on a story whipped up by dubious research, then chewed on by various social commentators who the BBC have on speed dial, living nice and near in the right part of London. Their main conclusion seemed to be that people are confused by endless facile filler stories of the kind they themselves were publicising.

Then elsewhere there was a charity operative with the speed-dial to the PR to the mate in the paper who is 'doing without supermarkets'... for a whole 6 weeks.
Maybe she works as a senior climate change analyst.

Because just keep the jaw dropping there is a report by a charity on Britain's businesses' failures to monitor carbon emissions.

Is that the best use of the money donated?

Sod it.

When I was younger and had more hair, along with Bruce Willis (work with me on this), during one of the more hormonally challenging periods there was a TV show called 'Moolighting'. Like most, it was a soap opera disguised as a detective show. Other than a nice mix of action and humour, the main thing that kept the audience loyal was episode after of episode of 'will they, won't they' tension between the male and female leads. Eventually they did, and show bit the dust.

So other than saying 'Sod it' when I see something like this Scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps , and how it will mean no more places for MPs and travel journalists to fly to to study the impact of flying on climate change, but also because it may be a tipping point in an already apathetic public's reaction to what some might deem a tad more tricky to deal with than Britney's barnet issues.

If we're already stuffed, then why bother?

I for one, will attempt to find new and improved ways to get the notion across that the next icon to fall after glaciers may indicate a trend worth addressing still.

Guardian - How green are the mountains? Interesting more for the blogs in reply

I read this and am appalled

Top companies 'failing to report true greenhouse gas emissions'

I just wonder how much of one's donation goes to a 'senior climate change analyst'.

Sorry to be flip, but really.

The other bit is bad too, but I wonder if it would not be something best left to others to discover, prove share and comment upon.

Oo, I don't know. Like the Government? The EU? The media?

File and forget. At least a column was filled, allegedly.

This is more like it

Tour firm to make carbon offsetting mandatory

And if you don't happen to feel that their mandatory carbon offset system is helping you or your kids' future as much as some suit in the City currently blowing his bonus in a lap-dancing club on the back of the 'handling fee', then you can simply choose not to use them.

Or, not fly at all.

New Spin - Washes greener than green!

Those who live in Fulham are different to you and I. They have better PR

They obviously pay well in women's charities.

The woman giving up supermarkets for Lent

And they obviously have mates next door who know mates next door who write columns for national papers.

'She has no illusions about how hard it will be'. A whole six weeks. And at least the Bishop of wherever is giving up flying a whole year. That'll sort the emission thing in no time at all then.

And I'm sure S********'s will be OK with the loss of custom as they got a free mention: 'Ingredients from supermarkets largely are replaced daily so they're always fresh, whereas in local shops the quality may not be quite so high." There goes the food miles claim then. And here I thought my meat and veg tasted better because they came from that field there and were not stored in inert gas to maintain freshness whilst being brought from New Zealand.

Let them eat (Fairtrade) cake!

This means what, exactly, and to whom?

Next thing we know she and a gaggle of mates from the media will be 'coptering off to Antarctica to study the effect of flying on Polar Bears.

Indy - See what they published

Logical regression

Police chief calls for heroin to be available on the NHS

Does this mean I can ask my GP to prescribe me a pint of daily cider to feed my habit and stop me committing the crime of blogging that such idiots should lose their jobs?

Actually, to drag this into the Junkk-zone, maybe we can prescribe litter-louts unfettered and unfined opportunities to throw the wrong kind of paper in the recycling bin.

Let a whole new department and sub-quango be created forthwith!

There's a sucker trusts the system every minute

Bearing in mind our ongoing discussions with OFCOM regarding the big idea, one does tend to wonder about how the authorities draw the distinction between awry, 'ripped 'off and outright fraud these days:

Richard and Judy quiz ‘con’

And what they ever do about it.

Guardian - You say, who pays? Richard and Judy show faces inquiry over teatime quiz
Indy - Revealed: Richard and Judy quiz scam
BBC - Richard and Judy in quiz apology
Times - Richard and Judy apologise for quiz
Times - Probe into Richard and Judy phone quiz
BBC - Madeley 'livid' over quiz scandal
Guardian - Richard and Judy quiz controversy deepens
Indy - Richard and Judy pull plug on phone-in quiz
Observer - Richard and Judy scandal grows
Guardian - We must stop TV companies ringing up the profits

Times - BBC feels the heat as cookery programme calls are investigated

Oh, this just gets too delicious.
And OFCOM and ICSTIS get paid how much, by whom to do what, exactly?

Guardian - BBC axes pre-recorded Saturday Kitchen episodes
Guardian - Premium-rate phoneline scandal reaches BBC
Times - Host who was in two places at once
What a link! Shame there is no comment function! I just wonder why the solution to defrauding viewers is to give 'a stern telling to' to the scum-buckets who bilked them
Times - City’s new police chief spells out the true cost of fraud
Times - BBC show must hand over pudding tapes
Times - I have dialled the future – and won
Telegraph - X Factor's voters paid too much
Daily Star - Factor phone votes 'rip off'
Indy - 'X Factor' vote blunder made ITV £200,000
Telegraph - ITV suspends premium rate phone-ins
BBC - ITV suspends premium phone-ins
Times - ITV pulls the plug on phone-ins after series of scandals

As a participant in a voter-driven reality TV show, who was the
cause of some to commit funds to these guys pockets in support
of what they thought was fair contest, I am intrigued as to how this
still seems to be more 'slap wrist, don't do it again' as opposed to
what it seems to me to be clearly: fraud. Why?

The Sun - Lid lifted on TV phone scandal

Sad to see so many readers saying it is participants' own greed and fault. These were competitions entered into in good faith. How many of these smug individuals go to the bookies? Would they feel the same if the arrival of the winning nag was predetermined?

You may like to add Sky and Ricochet to your investigation. Along with the competence of OFCOM or ICSTIS to handle much less police these scams.

I am now four months into a complaint regarding Sky's Big Idea. So far the former has managed to claim it has lost the evidence I supplied and I have not heard back on a request to resubmit the forms. The latter has never replied.

We are dealing with the crime of fraud here are we not?

Why is it being treated like a wrist-slapping, don't do it again? The amounts alone are vast. The principle even more important.

Times - Company in phone-in inquiry wins betting deal So the whole fraud thing is OK? I wouldn't bet on it.

Guardian - Police may be called in over fixed TV shows
G Media Talk
Guardian - A Watershed moment

An interesting collection of responses from the more intelligent end of the liberal media. Wish I was so smart.

I look forward to all your faces when some aspect of your life is compromised by what the Mirror quotes 'Phone-in watchdog' as saying: 'This is 'semi fraud''. Which errs on being a little bit pregnant in my book.

Someone invites you to take part in a process involving your time and/or money on a set of stated criteria that you agree to, possibly involving calculated risk. Only they are not as stated and the other side has had no intention of honouring them. Tough. Apply that basis to every aspect of your relationships in life.

I was a contestant in a show on SKY (interestingly the BBC this morning stated they were the only major not involved - tell that to the OFCOM and ICSTIS gusy I'm dealing with... if painfully....slowly) that did not feel kosher as a viewer-decided contest to many of those who invested time (and hence money) and money in taking part. And when it came to voting a lot of folk felt they were part of an honest process.

How we chose/choose to spend our money is up to us, so long as it falls within the laws of the land.

Let ye who would cast nasturtiums make sure ye don't suffer from hay fever at a later stage.

Times - Endemol loses its shine over scandals
Times - Channel 5 faked winners of phone-in quiz and put staff on air as contestants

Times - Eckoh chief reluctant to take all the phone-in flak

OK, it's a rant

To BBC Brekky. Speaks for itself.

This morning we're packed with slots on 'research' that is 'contradictory'. Oily fish, TV on kids...

Big surprise.

So long as there are 'news' programmes that have time to fill, and better yet with a 'debate' that 'your views are invited', we will continue to get these things carried out, press-released, covered and 'expert'-debated by the unholy alliance of those with a vested interest in keeping 'em coming.

And what, exactly, is the poor viewer (or in this case concerned parent) to make of it: don't pay attention to the thing we brought to your attention in the first place.

Nice one.

Meanwhile, the slot about health gets curtailed by a massive section on one of the presenters choosing her dress for the Oscars, which is apparently very stressful.

Plot. Lost. The.

BBC - BBC in the news, Thursday

Bang it long enough and they may hear.

I've signed up to the wonder of e-petitions

'While admittedly funny in a 10yroldschoolboy kind of way (mine howled with delight as I ranted), the flippant petitions seem only to have limited uses: to discredit the process (which oddly must be the prayer of the initiators) and to provide cheap fuel for commentators.

Meanwhile I'm still wondering what happened to my suggestion for a Carbon Legacy (posted about a day before the road-pricing hit the tarmac, so I guess they are still on back log O/T at petition central - or simply pushing the trip out to kill the whole thing PDQ) as an alternative to the much resented Treasury blackhole-borne excess of the IHT limit. It seemed/s an equitable solution to the various extremes being advocated (and gleefully covered at the expense of many with more merit), and one that offers a genuine sense that one's bequest goes to improving both the future of one's direct descendants as well as society as a whole.